Hebrews 4:12-16
Mark 2:13-17


Public discourses now take place at lightning speed, thanks to social media. The results are a mixed brew with large quantities of anonymous commentary stirred in, splashes of keen wit adding colour. The social media in Jesus’ day consisted, apparently, of checking out who was eating with whom and discussing the company kept. The buzz was this: Jesus and the disciples were not very particular about their dining partners.

In fact, they had been spotted breaking bread with Levi and some of his crew. Unclean, despised, wrong side of the tracks. Jesus and his team are consorting with the enemy! Video to be posted any minute! Someone finally works up the note to say something directly to them. Do they not know proper church procedure: take it to the parking lot, and wait for word to leak back to those directly involved?

Had this played out in our time, the video would have indeed been posted, followed immediately by a barge of outraged comments, shares, links to similar events, tweeted rumours. The whole episode would have gone viral in no time. The loyal defenders of Jesus and the disciples will take up the cause. Perhaps a separate Facebook page would be set up to defend Levi as a misunderstood victim in all this, a man simply trying to earn a living.

Within a few short hours, the lines would all be blurred. Most would have an opinion. Most would feel they had furthered the cause, however they defined it. Is it possible that at least part of Jesus’ intention was to blur the lines? “Those who are well have no need…….”

Was anyone in that group of critics actually “well”? Could anyone claim truthfully to be without sin? Had Jesus not, in fact, come for all, Tax Collector and scribes, Self-aware sinner and self-presumed saint? On any given day, we are with those who are acutely aware that they need the Great Physician, as well as with those who are comfortable in their belief that they have no such need. Who can honestly tell who is sick and who is healthy? Do we ever really know? Do we have the right to judge? Are we aware of our own needs?

Giltus Mathias CP is a Passionist who lives at St Brigid’s Community.